You just got back from a hike in the woods, and you brought your little cousin along, so she completely tired you out from the constant energy bursts she had. You drop her off at your aunt’s house, and then run home. Once you get home, you cannot wait to just sit down in your kitchen and have a little snack and some cold water. You grab your glass, and turn the faucet on, then guzzle down the refreshing drink, quenching your thirst and your dry throat. How many of us have had this experience before? We couldn’t wait to grab a cold glass of water, and just relax. We never had to worry about the quality of water we were drinking, or the fact that when we turned on the water, nothing would come out. It isn’t our reality, but it certainly is the reality of many in this world, Africa being one of the leaders in underdeveloped availability to drinkable water. Through some searching and researching on the internet, I was able to find some statistics about the water crisis that is affecting our world:
- Worldwide, 1 out of every 5 deaths of children under the age of fie are due to a water related disease.
- 783 million people do not have access to clean and safe water worldwide.
- 319 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are without access to improved reliable drinking water sources.
- In developing countries, as much as 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.
- Half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from a water-related disease.
Reading these facts completely blew my mind. I knew that we had water shortages throughout our world, but I had no idea that is was this extreme! It breaks my heart to know that while I can just go inside to grab fresh water, there are people out there that must search miles for it, and then the water that they do find, unsuitable to drink. Reading those facts make you think twice about just going to the faucet, and complaining when it is to warm or to cold.
So what can you do to help?
Blood:Water is an organization based out of Africa that joins both the fight against Aids, and then their main focus, water relief. They center their approach around the WASH principle- water, sanitation and hygiene. All three of these are necessary for the other to thrive. When we think of the water shortage, we often think of drinking water right away, but fail to think of all the other factors water has in our lives as well such as hand washing, and simple toilet flushing.
The teams install wells within the community that have hand pumps or are mechanized, as well as including household-level filtration and treatment. While short term missions are very important, they have a community team built in as well to ensure that the well stays up to date. As mentioned, drinking water is very important, but as is hygiene associated with water. With the organization, you will be a part of teaching hygiene practices such as hand-washing. and installing things such as dish drying racks, garbage pits, and latrines.
If this spoke to you, then plan your next trip to Africa with Blood:Water, and help save the lives of hundreds through something as simple as water.
Are you willing to give up your time and reduce the statistics of the water crisis?
Check out their website!
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